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[228] of war. Such was not the case in the first year of the Civil War, when surgeons were captured and immured in military prisons like combatant officers. Medical officers were thus often forced to make the hard choice of deserting the wounded under their care, often including patients from both sides who were urgently requiring attention, or of remaining and submitting to capture, with all the rigors and sufferings that this implied.

But General Jackson, after the battle of Winchester, in May, 1862, where he had captured the Federal division hospitals, took the ground that as the surgeons did not make war they should not suffer its penalties, and returned them unconditionally to their own forces. The neutral status of the surgeons, thus recognized for the first time, was subsequently formally agreed upon between Generals McClellan and Lee, though later the agreement was for a time interrupted. The idea that those engaged in mitigating the horrors of war should not be treated like those who create them, met with instant popular approval in both North and South, was subsequently advanced in Europe, and the humanitarian idea developed in this country was advocated until officially taken up by the great nations and agreed upon by them under the Geneva Convention.

In connection with the foregoing, the record of the casualties among the regular and volunteer Federal medical officers during the Civil War is of interest. Thirty-two were killed in battle or by guerillas; nine died by accident; eighty-three were wounded in action, of whom ten died; four died in Confederate prisons; seven died of yellow fever, three of cholera, and two hundred and seventy-one of other diseases, most of which were incidental to Camp life or the result of exposure in the field.

The medical and surgical supplies for the Federal hospital establishments not accompanying troops were practically unlimited as to variety and amount. But with the material taken into the field with troops, considerations of transportation

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George B. McClellan (2)
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